Before I Won – A Book by Tomas Veres – Book Review

6 January 2019


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Before I Won by Tomas Veres is a heartfelt book based on a true story about a troubled young adult who finds his way in life through trial and error.

I loved reading Tomas Veres’ book especially after finding out how much trouble he has gone through in his life. I connect with his story in some ways and especially connect with the strong message in Before I Won: Do work that you have talent in and which makes you happy. Ask yourself ‘What type of work would I be happy doing for the rest of my life even without getting paid?’ Whatever the answer is is the type of work you should shoot for.


What I Like About Before I Won

It’s very easy to follow and it’s short enough that you could read it in one day if you’re a quick reader. The book is filled with many quotable quotes which I will include some down below. It’s also relatable depending on how you grew up.


Here’s a short synopsis:

Before I Won opens up at the birth of Tom Seed. It goes through his childhood explaining how he barely scrapes by because his parents are irresposible in raising him. His parents are very poor and at one point all of them have to live on the streets. He hates school and just wants to graduate so he can get out of his poor life and build his own successful life. Tom finally decides to move away from his hometown to start a better life after having problem after problem.


But moving away doesn’t solve all his problems. He’s tired and needs to find the secret to getting out of his poor situation and live the dream of a wealthy person. He just doesn’t know how to do it. Failure scares him yet he wants to succeed. How will he do it?


As you can see the story above sounds quite interesting. Don’t get the synopsis wrong. You may have heard stories similar to this before but Tomas’ story is uniquely his. You can learn a lot from it as well especially if you don’t really know what you enjoy in life. Some of the mistakes he makes were avoidable. You can learn a lot from watching and reading about other people’s mistakes so you can avoid them yourself. Maybe by reading Before I Won it’ll spark a burning desire inside of you. That’s what I loved about this book.

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Here are some quotable quotes from Before I Won

You have to transform all your nightmares and worries into motivation, which will bring you to a paradise full of love, joy, wealth and peace. What keeps you down now has to drive you forward. You lived a life as a victim, because you believed that you were a victim. You accepted it. Your parents did not make you the Tom you are today. You have decided yourself to be the one you are today. If you are not happy with the life you are living now, you have to start doing things differently than you have done so far.


Take full responsibility for your own life, for your actions. Don’t be naive thinking someone in this world, someone in this city will take care of you. That will not happen. Do not complain, do not go away, do not be sorry, do not blame others. When you are not satisfied with your life, close your mouth and work for a better life.


Do not wait for the right time. It will never be the right time. If you want to do something, do it. No matter how, no matter where, no matter who. Do not delay anything. When your inner voice tells you tomorrow, close your eyes and do it now. Right now.


One last awesome thing about this book is as I look back at it while writing this review I can see a throughline as discussed in the TED Talks book. This throughline holds the whole book together. The throughline is no matter how much life might suck if you have the power to pull yourself through you can make it. You don’t need to follow in anyone else’s footsteps. You just follow your own.


What I Didn’t Like About Before I Won

The things I’m about to mention are just small nitty-gritty things. The book was originally written in Slovak then translated into English. It seems like some of the language and editing during the translation process messed a few things up. However, it didn’t bother me a whole lot. The book can definitely be improved by taking the time to thoroughly fix all those mistakes. I also would have liked to see chapter titles or the book separated into sections as it would make the flow of the book better. Overall, the most important thing is about any book is that the story is solidly compelling and Tomas Veres did make it so.


Final Thoughts

I love reading stories especially when they are true. Although about 30% of this story is fiction and 70% based on Tomas Veres’ real life (check out his website here and buy his book) I can tell which parts of the story might be based on fact. I know that Tomas put his heart into this book. It shows in the way he writes and interacts with people on social media. If you take the time to buy his book and read it it’s well worth it.


Recommended Reading:

Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Find Your Why by Simon Sinek

Turn Right – Find a Purposeful Career by Inez Natalia


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